Apple outperforms Google, Amazon in app store ranking
Apple's App Store was rated the most mature overall, according to a new analysis from Pfeiffer Report. The App Store, which changed the mobile landscape upon its introduction, got higher overall scores than both Google's Play Store and Amazon's Appstore. The Play Store placed second behind Apple's offering, and Amazon's app repository came in last.
Google begins greater push for educational segment
Google on Wednesday launched a new, education-focused segment of its Play Store Android app repository. The new feature will allow Google to spotlight the teaching- and learning-oriented apps on its popular mobile operating system, and perhaps to carve out some space in the educational market for tablets. That segment is currently dominated by Apple's iPad.
Google tightens Play Store app rules
Google has issued new rules limiting what Play Store apps can do with regard to in-app payments, app interactions, and other features. The new guidance on app behavior calls for developers to modify their apps for compliance within 30 days. Those developers not complying within that time frame will find their apps subject to removal from the Play Store. Newly submitted apps are automatically subject to the new rules.
App claimed to cure homosexuality in 60 days; still available on Google Play
A gay rights advocacy group known as All Out has called on both Apple and Google to remove a "gay cure" app from their respective app stores. Apple has already removed the app, but as of this writing the program, Setting Captives Free is still available on Google's Play store. Though the program purports to offer solutions to a number of spiritual and medical issues, its main purpose is promoting a 60-day plan that claims to cure gays and lesbians of their sexual orientation. All Out launched a petition drive yesterday to urge stores to remove the app.
Play Store gets a number of interface changes in new version
Google will soon be updating its Play Store app and media outlet to version 4.0, and a new image of the store's interface has leaked to the Internet. The image shows the front page for the Play Store, with some notable changes from its current layout. Google appears to have simplified some aspects of the Play Store experience, while tweaking the Holo theme that defines the user interface.
Kindle Store, Google Play hitting Brazil
Amazon and Google have opened digital bookstores in the Brazilian market as of today, looking to capitalize on the growing popularity of e-books in South America's largest country. Amazon will be selling its digital books through its popular Kindle Store and is expected to begin selling its Kindle hardware in Brazil in the near future. Google, meanwhile has expanded its Play Store, which sells e-books and offers movie rentals for computers as well as mobile devices running its Android operating system.
Users forced to use social network accounts as identification
Google is forcing users of its Play Store to reveal their identities, in what appears to be a move to force more accountability in application reviews found on the service. The change in policy sees Google adding Google+ integration to the review system, permanently linking a review to the social network account.
Google Music gets deal similar to iTunes, Amazon
Google has reportedly reached an agreement with representatives of European music publishers, artists, and composers, giving the search giant access to 5.5 million works across 35 countries for an array of popular artists. Google reached the licensing agreement with Armonia, an alliance bringing together French, Italian, and Spanish licensing groups. Industry observers bill the accord as one of the broadest of its kind.
Play Store approaches Apple's App Store total
Google has revealed that its Play Store app marketplace now hosts about 700,000 applications. The growth in the number of Android apps available in Google's central repository means that the search giant's app marketplace now approaches Apple's in terms of sheer scale. Google also recently announced that its Play Store had crossed the 25 billion mark for total apps downloaded.